Downgrade Politics

If you are a Democrat, what is your message about the recent downgrade of the nation’s credit rating by S&P? That’s easy. You blame the Tea Party. You know, the ones who warned that an economic apocalypse was coming and that something drastic had to be done to avoid the downgrade. Democrats fear they will be held responsible, what with an added $5 trillion to the national debt in the past two and a half years. And never mind that if the Senate had taken seriously the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill passed by the House, the downgrade never would have occurred. No, circle the wagons and find a scapegoat.

I’ve noticed how coordinated these attacks are: the spokespersons don’t even bother to conceal the concerted effort. David Axelrod and John Kerry used the same terminology on the Sunday talk shows; they called this the Tea Party downgrade. Kerry even went so far as to suggest that the media shouldn’t even allow Tea Party types to have a voice because they are so fringe in their views.

As I noted in yesterday’s post, the rhetoric is outlandish:

Isn’t profiling one of our biggest concerns? Why not apply the term more accurately?

So the entire world waited with anticipation any words from the president that would ease the anxiety. He said nothing over the weekend. Finally, on Monday, he stepped to the podium to make everyone feel better. What did he give us? The same speech he has uttered for the past three years or so: tax the rich; build the infrastructure; set aside the wrangling and partisanship—all the while ignoring the fact that he is the greatest of all partisans and his ideological intransigence is the root of all the wrangling.

His performance had an immediate effect: the stock market plunged just as badly as it had last Thursday. All the gains made in the last year have now been eclipsed. We’re probably as bad off as we’ve been since the panic of late 2008.

So how will Obama spend most of his time now? Running for reelection, of course. Some are already suggesting his slogan for the next run.